Present perfect и past simple

Present perfect и past simple (Часть 1-я)

Не знаете, в чем разница между английскими временами Present Perfect и Past Simple? Все просто. Прошедшее простое время описывает действия, которые происходили в прошлом. А вот Present Perfect говорит нам оо том, что некое действие, хотя и произошло в прошлом, но тесно связано с настоящим или его последствия все еще достаточно важны.

A. Study this example situation:

  • Tom is looking for his key. He can’t find it. He has lost his key. (present perfect)

This means that he doesn’t have his key now.

Ten minutes later:

  • Now Tom has found his key. He has it now. Has he lost his key? (present perfect) No, he hasn’t. He has found it.

Did he lose his key? (past simple} Yes, he did.

He lost his key (past simple) but now he has found it. (present perfect)

The present perfect is a present tense. It always tells us something about now. ‘Tom has lost his key’ = he doesn’t have his key now.

The past simple tells us only about the past. If somebody says ‘Tom lost his key’, we don’t know whether he has it now or not. We only know that he lost it at some time in the past.

Two more examples:

  • Jack grew a beard but now he has shaved it off. (so he doesn’t have a beard now)
  • They went out after lunch and they’ve just come back. (so they are back now)


B. Do not use present perfect if there is no connection with the present (for example, things that happened a long time ago):

  • The Chinese invented printing, (not ‘have invented’)
  • How many plays did Shakespeare write? (not ‘has Shakespeare written’)
  • Beethoven was a great composer, (not ‘has been’)


  • Shakespeare wrote many plays.
  • My sister is a writer. She has written many books, (she still writes books)

C. We use the present perfect to give new information. But if we continue to talk about it, we normally use the past simple

  • A: Ow! I’ve burnt myself.
  • B: How did you do that? (not ‘have you done’)
  • A: I picked up a hot dish. (not ‘have picked’)
  • A: Look! Somebody has spilt milk on the carpet.
  • B: Well, it wasn’t me. I didn’t do it. (not ‘hasn’t been_haven’t done’)
  • A: I wonder who it was then. (not ‘who it has been’)


1 What has happened in these situations?

  1. Jack had a beard. Now he hasn’t got a beard.He has shaved off his beard
  2. Linda was here five minutes ago. Now she’s in bed. She____________________________________
  3. The temperature was 25 degrees. Now it is only 17. The temperature_________________________
  4. The light was off. Now it is on. Somebody ________________________________________________
  5. The tree was only three meters high. Now it is four. The tree ________________________________
  6. The plane was on the runway a few minutes ago. Now it is in the air.The plane___________________

2 Put the verbs in brackets in the correct form, present perfect or past simple.

  1. ‘Where’s your key?’  ‘I don’t know. I ‘ve lost it.’ (lose)
  2. I _was_ very tired, so I lay down on the bed and went to sleep, (be)
  3. Mary _________________________ to Australia for a while but she’s back again now. (go)
  4. ‘Where’s Ken?’   ‘He ________________________ out. He’ll be back in about an hour.’ (go)
  5. I did German at school but I_________________________ most of it. (forget)
  6. I meant to phone Diane last night but I__________________________ (forget)
  7. I_________________________ a headache earlier but I feel fine now. (have)
  8. Look! There’s an ambulance over there. There ________________________ an accident, (be)
  9. They’re still building the new road. They _________________________ it. (not/finish)
  10. ‘Is Helen still here?’   ‘No, she _________________________ out.’ (just/go)
  11. The police _________________________ three people but later they let them go. (arrest)
  12. Ann ____________________ me her address but I’m afraid L___________________ it. (give, lose)
  13. Where’s my bike? It________…_______ outside the house. It______________! (be, disappear)
  14. What do you think of my English? Do you think I_________________________? (improve)

3 Are the underlined parts of these sentences right or wrong? Correct the ones that are wrong.

  1. Do you know about Sue? She's given up her job____________________________________________
  2. The Chinese have invented printing. _____________________________________________________
  3. How many plays has Shakespeare written?________________________________________________
  4. Have you read any of Shakespeare's plays? _______________________________________________
  5. Aristotle has been a Greek philosopher____________________________________________________
  6. Ow! I've cut my finger. It's bleeding. ______________________________________________________
  7. My grandparents have got married in London. ______________________________________________
  8. Where have you been born? _____________________________________________________________
  9. Mary isn't at home. She's gone shopping____________________________________________________
  10. Albert Einstein has been the scientist who has developed the theory of relativity___________________

4  Put the verb into the most suitable form, present perfect or past simple.

  • A: Look! Somebody _has. spilt_ (spill) coffee on the carpet.
  • B: Well, it _wasn’t_ (not/be) me. I _didn’t do_ (not/do) it.
  • A: Ben _________________________ (break) his leg.
  • B: Really? How _________________________ (that/happen)?
  • A: He _________________________ (fall) off a ladder.
  • A: Your hair looks nice__________________________ (you/have) a haircut?
  • B: Yes.
  • A: Who ____________________ (cut) it? ___________________ (you/go) to the hairdresser?
  • B: No, a friend of mine _________________________ (do) it for me.
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